"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—

"Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns." Revelation 19:6

No Palm in all the grove (specially for the woe-worn pilgrim) has a more gracious or inviting shadow than that whose leaves seem to whisper, "Your God reigns." To change the simile, it forms the foundation truth of all comfort. An old writer speaks of it as the first word spelled in the afflicted man's primer.

Our motto-verse has an interest of its own, in connection with what precedes in the chapter of which it is a part. On the announcement of the destruction of the mystic Babylon in the immediate context, a voice emanates from the celestial throne, "Praise our God, all you His servants, and you who fear Him, both small and great;" and then is heard in response, as it were, "what sounded like a great multitude, and like the roar of rushing waters, and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: 'Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.'"

It is striking to note the contrast between the way in which the awful catastrophe, described in the previous chapter, is received on earth and in heaven. On earth there is heard nothing but "weeping and lamentation." The kings and the princes, the mighty men and the merchants, are depicted as robing themselves in sackcloth and casting dust upon their heads. In a bold figure of poetry, an ominous column of smoke is represented catching the eye of the mariners on the distant ocean, as they are speeding along in their vessels loaded with the produce and luxuries of the world. (v. 17)—"Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off…and with weeping and mourning cry out: 'Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!'"

Such is the case with an awestruck world; but how is it with the Church alike in heaven and upon earth? There the smoke of that tremendous inferno is the signal for a song of jubilee. No tongue is silent. It is taken up by small and great, redeemed and unredeemed; and the tide of triumph increases as it rolls. Every fresh view of this divine judgment affords matter for loftier exultation. At first, the rapt seer heard no more than "a roar of a great multitude in heaven." But the music of the celestial choirs is caught up by the dwellers in the lower sanctuary. It seems "like the voice of a great multitude." Louder still, it becomes "as the roar of rushing waters;" and then, with an ever augmenting volume, it is like "loud peals of thunder"—"Hallelujah! for our Lord God Almighty reigns!"

It is a typical representation of the unfolding of the wisdom and righteousness of all God's dispensations and purposes to His Church—partly unfolded in this world, fully disclosed in the world to come. The song of His people, often raised on earth in feeble, trembling, faltering accents, will be an ever-deepening one, as the "why" and the "wherefore" of these dealings become gradually more manifest.

It is hard and difficult often here, to recognize the divine love and wisdom, and to own the rectitude of the dark dispensation. But "what we know not now we shall know hereafter." In the great day of disclosures—the cloudless, sinless, sorrowless morning of immortality—the mysteries of Providence will be unraveled; every event will be seen reflected as in a glorious mirror; all the now veiled purposes will be fully revealed, perplexing dealings vindicated. "In Your light, O God, we shall see light." Each lip will then be brought to confess that this reigning Lord has been 'righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made.' Each fresh retrospect will cause the hearts of the Redeemed to bound with holier rapture, and their tongues to thrill with louder notes of exultation. The gradual revelation of God's earthly plan will afford new matter and new motive for praise. Not until the various component parts of the divine dealings are brought together—not until we view them as a whole—can we see their unity and admire their grandeur.

The present life, in its conflicting relations, its discords and confusions, is the tuning of the musical instruments before the great hallelujah chorus—the magnificent harmonies of Heaven. Then that chorus, like the song of adoration of the exulting multitudes in the seer's vision, will become a louder and yet louder ascription of praise, deepening until its streaming waves of sound become like the noise of mighty thunderings. And this verse at the head of our meditation will be the everlasting refrain!

Nor can we omit to add further, that that Sovereign Ruler is the same "Lion of the tribe of Judah" into whose hands, in the beginning of the Apocalyptic visions, was put the sealed roll of Providence (Rev. 5:1-6). It is Christ, the exalted King and Head of His Church, His brows crowned with many crowns, who holds the reins of universal empire! We can claim Him as a Brother, we can love Him as a Friend, we can adore Him as a God! We repeat, that glorious Keystone which crowns the arch is hidden at times behind the clouds. We see it not! Often we lose the divine footsteps—often we look with straining eye for one fringe of light in the darkened firmament. But He is there!—"that same Jesus"—the might of deity slumbering in His arm, the tenderness of humanity glowing at His heart. Jesus is "the Lord omnipotent," and He "reigns"! Jesus reigns!

Then perish every desponding thought. Jesus reigns! Then, though heart and flesh faint and fail, He will be the strength of our heart, and our portion forever. Jesus reigns! He reigns to love, to pity, to plead, to sympathize, to bless; He reigns to sustain the needy, to comfort the brokenhearted, to reclaim the wandering, to save the lost; He reigns to justify, to sanctify, and finally to glorify; and He will live and reign over Zion triumphant as well as militant "through all generations!"—the object of adoring praise and gratitude to His Church through all eternity—their light, their life, their strength, their portion, their all in all! Oh, can we say, with lowly, joyful confidence, seated under the shelter of so glorious a palm—"Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; the scepter of justice will be the scepter of Your kingdom?"

"Hark! the song of jubilee,
Loud as mighty thunder's roar,
O'er the fullness of the sea
When it breaks upon the shore.
'Hallelujah! for the Lord
God omnipotent doth reign!
Hallelujah! let the word
Echo round the earth and main.

"He shall reign from pole to pole
With illimitable sway;
He shall reign when, like a scroll,
Yonder heavens have passed away.
Then the end: beneath His rod
Man's last enemy shall fall.
Hallelujah! Christ in God,
God in Christ, is all in all!"

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

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